Thursday, February 20, 2014

day 32: Sonoma Valley

Wine!  Yay!  We woke up, got ready, ate breakfast at the hotel and were on our way!  First, we had to stop by FedEx to print and sign papers for the house.  Now we really were on our way!  This is no surprise but wine country is really beautiful!  I loved driving through there.  I'm pretty sure I had a huge smile on my face at the first sighting of a vineyard.  Obviously, I'd been looking forward to this for a long time.

Beautiful Sonoma

The first winery we went to was Jacuzzi Vineyards, this is the only one with a free tasting.  It was a larger, Italian winery.  The guy serving us was very nice and informative.  The wines were all really great, there wasn't one I didn't like.  After the tasting, John had to call someone about the mortgage so I strolled the grounds.  So gorgeous!  Very Italian.

 The front of Jacuzzi

Rows and rows of grapes

We left Jacuzzi and went to Larson Family Vineyard.  This was a much smaller, more intimate experience.  This vineyard had a much more rustic, cowboy feel which was really cool.  The woman who helped us was really nice.  We were the only two customers in there for awhile which we enjoyed.  Then a crowd arrived but we were almost done so that was fine.  They really like dogs there, they had one of their labs strolling the property which I loved, of course.  And they had wines name Three Lab Cab and Three Lab Chard.  We really enjoyed Larson (this was definitely one of my favorite vineyards we visited). 

Happy, happy girl

John and I at Larson

After Larson, we headed to Homewood Winery, another smaller, family owned/operated winery.  Also, a neat place, it had a very homey feeling.  The wines were all really good, including a port the server had me try.  Well, good for a port (this is not my favorite type of wine).  I liked the wines here but we didn't purchase any. 

Now onto Nicholson Ranch Winery.  Beautiful place and pretty big.  The views of their vineyard were really gorgeous!  We were the only two people there, a big tour group had just left so we got a little more attention/information from the server.  Really nice guy and really great wines.  After the tasting we looked around the grounds for a little bit and decided to go to lunch.

 The grounds at Nicholson Ranch


We went into the town of Sonoma and ate a delicious lunch of salad and pizza at The Red Grape. 

From there we went to Gundlach Bundschu, one of the oldest wineries in Sonoma.  We toured their grounds with a guide (who was from TN!).  It was cool to see some of the behind the scenes stuff and to learn more about the wine making process.  We also got to go into their cave which was really cool.  They store the wine in the cave because of the natural coolness. 

 Wine being stored in the cave at Gundlach Bundschu

The tasting area in the cave at Gundlach Bundschu

Then we hopped on over to Ravenswood and did a quick tasting (I wanted to try this winery because it's one that you see in wine stores and I wanted to be able to say "I've been there!").  All the wine was really good, which has been the case at every place we've gone to.

 Beautiful tree outside of Ravenswood

After Ravenswood, we went to Sebastiani Vineyards, a winery recommended by a friend.  This had more of an Italian feel and was a big place.  It didn't feel crowded, I guess because it was so big.  The server was so nice, I talked to her about our trip and hiking the JMT.  She was really impressed because her roommate had attempted the hike last year but couldn't finish because it was too hot.  Again, all of the wine was great!  We bought Dixie some little dog treats in a mini wine bottle.
Huge barrels inside Sebastiani

Us outside of Sebastiani, after a long, hard day of wine tasting :)

After Sebastiani, we returned to the hotel and rested a bit before dinner.  For dinner we went into downtown Santa Rosa (really cute area) to La Rose, a Mexican restaurant, because I was still craving Mexican food.  Great food and great atmosphere!  After that we were done for the night, returned to the room and went to bed.

Another beautiful view, looking up through a tree

(Yes, we did buy more than just dog treats for Dixie while in Sonoma.  We bought a few bottles of wine for family and some for ourselves.  We haven't tried the ones for ourselves seeing as a little surprise--our baby--came shortly after the trip and I've been unable to drink wine.)

1 comment:

Megan said...

I love this post! And I bet your missing your vino as much as I am missing mine! Only a few more months to go girl:) I think it's so cool that you and John did this trip...such a neat time of life to look back on before the arrival of baby boy! Hope you're feeling well! Take care.